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Documentary

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Hollywood Chinese" Director Arthur Dong

    Documentary director Arthur Dong has been working since the early 1980s, when one of his first shorts, "Sewing Woman," was nominated for an Academy Award. Since then, he has directed a series of docs on political and social issues, including 1994's Peabody Award winning "Coming Out Under Fire" and 1997's Sundance favorite "Licensed To Kill," which took a chilling look at the lives of people convicted of violent hate crimes against gay men (Dong himself was a victim of gay bashing in 1977). His latest work, "Hollywood Chinese," goes in a different but certainly not less imperative direction, examining the placement of Asian-Americans in Hollyw...

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    DOC COLUMN | Arts Engine Celebrates 10 Years

    Ten years can either be a blip or an eternity depending on your perspective. The year 1997 saw President Bill Clinton inaugurated for his second term, James Cameron's "Titantic" was the top movie and a book about a young wizard named Harry Potter first hit shelves. It was before the Internet stock bust and "information superhighway" was still a promise. The world of documentary in the U.S. was one of foundation funding, public television broadcast and educational distribution with precious few docs breaking into any kind of commercial success. It was in that entrenched world that then-new filmmakers Katy Chevigny and Julia Pimsleur felt like ...

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    iW NEWS | THINKFilm Makes Theatrical & Home Video Deal for "Roman Polanski" Doc

    U.S. theatrical and home video rights to Sundance '08 doc "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" have been acquired by THINKFilm from HBO, which acquired the title at the festival in January. "Polanski" will have its international premiere at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. HBO will air the film on June 9th, and THINK will launch a theatrical roll out beginning July 11 in New York. Directed by Marina Zenovich, the film spotlights the the public scandal and private tragedy that drove the legendary director from the United States more than 30 years ago. "Marina's film is one of the best documentaries I've seen in years," commented Urman in a s...

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    iW NEWS | Hot Docs Leaps In Attendance, Awards "Root"

    The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival finished up Sunday, with a record-breaking attendance of 85,000, a 25% increase over last year. The 11 day festival screened 172 films from 36 countries. "The success of this year's Festival is a testament to our audiences," said Executive Director Chris McDonald in a statement. "Their passion for docs and investment in the Festival is inspiring. Filmmakers love screening their work in this city." The festival announced most of its juried awards Friday, but two awards were announced Sunday, including the Hot Docs Audience Award, which was awarded to Lisa Merton and Alan Dater's "Taking ...

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    Nonfiction Campaign: Can Errol Morris's "Standard Operating Procedure" Break the Political Doc Deadl

    Election years are typically strong for political documentaries. Capitalizing on citizens' hunger for issues that the mainstream media is either ignoring or mishandling, audiences flock to theaters to get a deeper sense of what's going on in the world. At least that was the thinking in 2004, with th...

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    DISPATCH FROM TORONTO | Documentary Filmmaking and "The Long Haul"

    Termed "the longitudinal documentary" by Hot Docs Director of Programming Sean Farnel, films that follow a character or story over an extended period of time are increasingly problematic these days. Deals with distributors or television networks put pressure on the time a doc has to finish, often li...

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    iW NEWS | CFC and NFB Launch Doc Development Program

    The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and the National Film Board (NFB) have joined forces to create Canada's first program to develop theatrical documentaries. The CFC NFB Feature Documentary Program, announced Tuesday at a Hot Docs event in Toronto, will launch in January 2009 with the goal of developing "successful original feature documentaries for international cinema audiences." The six-month program is designed to help directors develop cinematic documentaries that will combine weeks of residency at the CFC with project-specific mentorship from documentary talents."From 'Manufactured Landscapes' to the most recent critically acclaimed 'Up The...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Standard Operating Procedure" Director Errol Morris

    Boston-based Errol Morris is that rarity among filmmakers: an intense documentarian (he has worked as a private investigator) and a great aestheticist. Harper's called him "the most obsessive and relentless forensic documentary filmmaker of our time." He probes thoroughly, interviewing his exceptionally candid subjects through a device he invented known as the Interrotron, a two-camera set-up allowing the interviewee to see Morris but also inviting the viewer into an eyeline rapport with the witness. "Standard Operating Procedure" is in the tradition of Morris's "The Thin Blue Line" (1988), in which he spoke to many people in pursuit of the t...

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    DISPATCH FROM TORONTO | Hometown "Demi-Gods of Metal" Kick Off Toronto's Hot Docs Fest

    The 15th edition of the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival started off with a (head) bang in Toronto Thursday night, showcasing the Canadian premiere of Sacha Gervasi's "Anvil! The Story of Anvil." Taking the stage of the historic Winter Garden to introduce the film, Hot Docs' Executive Director Chris McDonald proudly declared the festival "the finest collection of documentaries anywhere." With 174 films from 36 countries screening over 11 days, Hot Docs has grown into the largest documentary festival in North America, blasting out of the shadow of the Toronto International Film Festival to become a major industry event in i...

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    indieWIRE INTERVIEW | "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts" Director Scott Hicks

    Director Scott Hicks' documentary "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts" traces an eventful year in contemporary composer Philip Glass's life as he stages the opera "Waiting for the Barbarians," writes his eighth symphony, scores several films, travels the world and maintains a family with his fourth wife, Holly. Given unprecedented access to Glass' working process, family life, spiritual teachers and long time collaborators, Hicks gives us a unique glimpse behind the curtain into the life of a surprising and complex man. Koch Lorber Films opens the film Friday, April 18 at New York's IFC Center with subsequent release dates to be anno...

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